The Cypress Health Region, alongside Dr. Fakhir, Pediatrician, have created the Family Centre for Weight and Health to support families concerned about their child’s weight. The clinic is founded on the basic principle that obesity management is about improving health and well-being and not simply about a reduction in the number on the scale. The goal is to help children who are struggling with their weight to make lifestyle changes that will lead to a healthy future. Our approach is holistic and includes the whole family.
The Region offers all children and families a comprehensive assessment. Children between the ages of 6-17 are able to participate. Any child can be referred by their family physician, pediatrician, registered dietitian, public health nurse, physical therapist, or other health professional. Family involvement is a prerequisite for participation in the Clinic. The team consists of a pediatrician, registered dietitian, physical therapist, and counsellor.
Everyone is different!
Like adults, children come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is normal for your child to be taller, shorter, heavier, or lighter than others. Many things affect a child’s body size, including:
- Body build that is inherited
- Growth stage
- Activity level
- Eating habits
Keep in mind that your view of a “normal” body size may be affected by cultural ideals promoted in the media. The current ideal is tall and thin for females and tall and muscular for males. These body types are not natural, realistic, or healthy for every person. Not everyone will inherit these body types.
It can be upsetting to parents when they are informed by their physician that their child is overweight. Unfortunately, more and more children in Canada are facing this. Overweight and obesity rates have nearly tripled in the last thirty years.
What can I do to help my child achieve and maintain a healthy weight?
Help your child learn about and eat a healthy diet:
- Follow Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.
- Plan meals with foods from each food group.
- Make healthy eating a family activity and be a role model in your home.
- Choose healthy foods at the grocery store and eat meals as a family as often as possible.
- Try to set regular meal and snack times.
- Get the whole family involved in meal planning and grocery shopping. Be active as a family.
- Set an example by being active with your kids.
- Encourage your children to be active every day and to limit their screen time (TV, computer, video gamesto 2 hours/day.
- Avoid providing your child with a TV for their bedroom.
- Look for opportunities to be active within your community such as ice skating, bike riding, and swimming.
In the long run, our goals are to help your child:
- Feel happy about themselves.
- Feel loved and accepted for who they are and not how they look.
- Establish healthy eating and physical activity habits.
For more information on what you can do to help maintain a healthy weight for your child view this family health booklet or contact the Cypress Health Region at 306-778-5118.